Statement of Program Goals and Objectives


The Altoona Area School District’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program seeks to ensure that all students are provided with a quality education. The AASD utilizes the PDE BEC for ESL as the primary source for its program goals and objectives. The goals for the English as a Second Language Program are to:
  • Teach Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing skills to each student in the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program.
  • Facilitate English language acquisition through the communication skills used to read, write, speak, and understand others and reinforce the general education curriculum.
  • Assist all English Learners (ELs) in accessing content area instruction while learning English, so they can remain at grade level and make progress toward grade level competency in content areas.
  • Incorporate students into content classes using multiple assessment criteria.
  • Monitor for two years the progress of former ELs who have exited the ESL Program to determine if additional alternative language instruction is needed.
  • Familiarize the EL with the varied cultures and customs of the United States while promoting their own ethnic pride.
  • Help the EL student to learn and understand the social behaviors of school and community and to use the appropriate language and behavior to communicate and interact successfully.
  • Communicate consistently with regular classroom teachers, school administrators, counselors, pertinent support staff, and parents to address the learning and emotional needs of EL students holistically.
  • Meet yearly with school-based ESL Teams (ESL Teacher, Content Teachers, Guidance, Administrator, and other relevant personnel) to determine if the ESL student is making progress.
  • Evaluate PHLOTEs with the WIDA Screener to determine ESL enrollment, placement, and instruction.
  • Assess ESL students yearly with the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0.

Changing Terminology: From “English Language Learners” to “English Learners”
by Jennifer Alicandri
June 27th, 2016 | 10:58am
When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed on December 10, 2015, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (which was amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001), it changed the terminology: our students are now called English Learners (ELs), no longer ELL, LEP, or ESL. There are many other changes to, or extensions of, NCLB that will impact English learners and the districts serving them.
Other Definitions for ELL or LEP Students:
  • English as a Second Language and English language learner - source: Colorin Colorado
  • English language learner - source: The Glossary of Education Reform
  • ELL vs. ESL, LEP, Bilingual video - source:  Teachings in Education
  • ELL, ESL, LEP, etc - source:  US. Department of Education glossary


All staff are responsible for the fair and equitable education for ELs. We are a community of teachers fostering growth in a community of learners. 
Assistant to the Superintendent
Curriculum, Instruction, and Elementary Programs
Haley Fleegle (814) 946-8426 [email protected]
ESL Program Specialist - Elementary, Pre-K to 5th grade
Catherine Chirdon (814) 946-8397, ext. 5147 [email protected]
Mallory Hopkins (814) 946-8401, ext. 3391 [email protected]
Sarah Richard (814) 946-8400, ext. 4131 [email protected]
ESL Program Specialist - Secondary, Grades 6-8
Brandy Juart (814) 381-7500, ext. 7213 [email protected]
ESL Program Specialist - Secondary, Grades 9-12
Janelle Patton (814) 946-8392, ext. 4231 [email protected]
The Altoona Area School District currently serves students whose families hail from Vietnam, China, Philippines, Peru, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and Russia!
ELL Basics - Colorin Colorado